Monday, May 13, 2013

What we're built to do.

I've had lot's of jobs in the 13 years since I've graduated college. More if you consider the jobs while in school. I've been a stagehand, a barista, I've sold men's sweaters and women's bras, I've hired, trained and fired people, I've been a counselor, and a bank manager, I've written about hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, women's football, and giant diesel engines. Out of all of those things I've done over the years, I'm truly only built to be one thing: A Dad.

Being a Dad can be maddeningly frustrating, but then something changes. My little boy realizes he likes to give hugs and he tries to squeeze the air out of your neck each time. My big boy, finally turns his writing grade around. Then you realize these are the reasons why you bring kids into this world. So you can hold them close, and see them succeed. The frustration is actually unimportant, and passes as quickly as a summer breeze. The smiles and elation, well that sticks to you, like peach juice on your chin. Delicious, and worth every minute.

It's easy to lose sight of the important things in life. After all we have to have a roof over our heads and food on the table. What we choose to do to earn the money for those things is not who we are. They are not the legacy we'll leave behind on this Earth. The children that we shape and mold define the type of person we want to be. Whether those children are yours through biology, or as a result of life events bringing that little person into your life. Even if you never have your own, there will be children in your life that you will create an indelible mark on.

Never is this more prevalent to me than when we head away from home to go camping. Our first trip this year was May 10-12, Mother's Day Weekend. I think it speaks a lot about Jen that she wanted to go camping this weekend. Even though we are at a beautiful old cabin, being in the woods with a 7 and 2 year old is no easy task. Keeping two adults fed and happy is a chore enough away from home, but drive up into the mountains with two youngsters in tow, and you're asking for some frustrating moments.

It's all worth it though. My oldest did a 3 mile hike, across creeks, up and down slippery hills, through wet grass that soaked his shoes in the first 15 minutes, and not once did he complain. He paid attention to plants that were blooming. Saw a Red-Tailed Hawk soaring. Then shied away from a Orange Salamander crossing the path in front of us. My youngest ate a hot dog bun, and the hot dog! (If you have ever had a toddler you'll get it.) He even toasted his own marshmallow, and played in the rain.

After packing up camp, cleaning the cabin, we made the hour long car ride home. Since it was Mother's Day we visited both Nana's for a short while. After that we had a little dinner and as I finished the dishes my youngest hugged my leg and said, "Daddy, I go back to camp now?"  Yeah, the nights of rough sleep, the tears over homework, the frustration isn't important. We made an indelible mark on Robert's and Aiden's souls this weekend, and that is more precious than anything in the world.

How do you create memories that last a lifetime?  Leave your ideas in the comments. I'd love to hear them.

Happy Exploring
Scott M


  1. Nice post! Having kids really makes everything harder but some much fun, especially being outdoors. I love spending time outdoors with my kids!

    1. Glad you liked it. Kids really do make everything worth it. As exasperating as they can be, they make it all fun.